KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – Klamath County Public Health (KCPH) officials report 33 new cases of COVID-19. The local case count is 1,160.

The positive electronic laboratory records were in the system on Saturday; these cases all count toward last week. Last week’s count is 288.

KCPH Director Jennifer Little said, “This volume of new cases exceeds our capacity to continue to follow up on all cases within 24 hours.”

A revised approach to contact investigations and close contact follow up is part of a statewide surge plan developed in response to the statewide growth in cases. The approach incorporates a priority structure to ensure those at highest risk receive contact from KCPH first. More than half of the counties in Oregon have moved to this surge protocol, as local and state resources reach capacity in this critical pandemic response.

“All positive cases will continue to receive calls from public health but it may take days before you hear from us, as we work through new case investigations in a prioritized manner based on risk. We will no longer be following up with close contacts, unless they are determined to be high risk’ ,” she concluded

Little said webpages have been created for those who have tested positive and their close contacts. Links can be found at the top of the http://publichealth.klamathcounty.org/coronavirus page.

“We are asking those who have tested positive to let their close contacts know of their exposure. A close contact is someone who has been within six feet of a positive individual for 15 or more cumulative minutes, with or without a mask,” Little said.